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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  August 12, 2010 3:05am-4:30am EDT

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ones, in fact, who had died in the crash. it seemed to be a lottery as to who lived and who died. the pilot sitting right up front
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was killed, while right alongside him a few inches away, another man who was in the front seat actually survived. and the survivors now are all being treated at a hospital in anchorage. the most serious of them is sean o'keefe, the former head of nasa, who right now is listed in critical condition. the others are doing better. investigators from the ntsb hope to speak with them soon to try to be able to determine exactly what went wrong. neal karlinsky, abc news, anchorage. chicago-area congressman dan has passed away. the democrat served 18 terms in the house. he was defeated back in 1994, following a corruption scandal. he pleaded guilty and served 17 months in federal prison. dan rosten died of lung cancer at the age of 82. hundreds of people are in pain after they were attacked by jellyfish on beaches in spain. biologists warn such attacks have become more common due to climate changing and overfishing. over 700 people were attacked
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over three days. the beaches remained open. nasa says two more space walks will be needed to finish a crucial repair job on the international space station. astronauts removed a broken coolant pump that's interfered with the station's operations. a spare pump will be installed on monday. until then, no scientific research can be done. now here is a look at your thursday weather. up to 3 inches of rain along the gulf coast. scattered showers for much of the northeast. 80-mile-an-hour winds, hail and flash flooding in the dakotas and minnesota. thunderstorms in the four corners region. and heat advisories from the great lakes to the deep south. >> 105 in dallas. 90s from fargo to detroit. 96 in atlanta. 91 in new york. 81 in boston. albuquerque 96. and phoenix, whew, 109. well, it's kind of like a dem mission derby on steroids. a big clash of tons of heavy metal. >> huge, souped-up farm tractors called combines went head to head at an annual derby in
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kansas. thousands of fans turned up for the smash 'em up and they couldn't get enough of it. some drivers even rumbled until their wheels fell off. >> the drivers have fun but they take that derby very seriously. they spend hours modifying the combines and planning their strategy. i've been in a combine. >> really? >> yeah. working in quincy, illinois. they were talking about harvest time. they were incredibly expensive. i'm surprised to see they're in a derby. >> we need to find footage of that one. >> i didn't have the hair and makeup team we have these days. >> oh, all right. >> we'll be right back. [ bottle ] mr. clean bath cleaner is balanced like a zen master.
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now to the tale of an american's life of crime and murder in central america. bill cortez earned the nickname wild bill in a small panamanian town. >> they had no idea how right they were. he is now in jail, and vicki mabry got to talk to the man accused of killing five other
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americans. >> i'm vicki mabry from "nightline," new york. did you kill those five people? >> i'm not at liberty to talk about my case. >> reporter: this is the man panamanian police say has confessed to five murders. killing his neighbors and friends to get their property and their cash. >> everybody knew he was crazy but nobody thought he was a killer. >> reporter: sandy hodge moved to boca selturo five years ago to get away from the states and live in peace by the sea. this island chain off the coast of panama is where you come to escape from the rat race, or the law. most say it's paradise. but that all changed when a couple called bill and jane cortez arrived a few yes, there is ago. he was known here as wild bill cortez. >> they're taxing us to death. they're removing our dogs. >> reporter: it turns out he was really william holbert, white supremacist from north carolina. he was wanted in the u.s. for various crimes including alleged
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real estate schemes. he arrived in bocas in 2007 and quickly became a presence. he was known for his guns, his parties, and his trademarked symbol, the skull and cross bones. then, americans began to disappear. first there was michael brown, his wife, and teenaged son. cortez moved into their house. in 2009, beau isler, former gallery owner from new mexico, seemed to split town all of a sudden, leaving his property behind. wild bill said he bought it. >> that struck me as very odd. it was the talk of the town. i said, god, if i would have known he was giving the house away we would have bought it. >> reporter: things started heating up in march when yet another person went missing. this time it was cheryl hughes. five missing people with one common denominator. bill cortez. >> this man was my neighbor. he was at my house for dinner. his wife, they came over, they were any neighbors for two and a half years. wild bill and his wife.
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>> reporter: cher hughes and her husband keith worley live together on their piece of paradise. keith and cher's marriage went south and they separated. even afterwards they remained in regular contact, texting several times a day. until late march. >> the last three or four texts i got were just a little strange. they weren't quite what cher would say. she indicated in the text that she had met someone and she was leaving. >> reporter: keith says he now knows those messages that didn't sound like cher, weren't. it was wild bill, he says, impersonating cher. keith, sandy and others tried to alert local authorities. police finally mounted an investigation into wild bill after an ex-pat blogger broke and pursued the story. and cher's concerned relatives, including keith, flew to the mainland to meet with police. by then, wild bill and jane -- william holbert and laura michelle reese -- were missing themselves. they had fled. law enforcement finally caught up with them in nicaragua.
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reese is also being held now as an accomplice to murder. armed with a warrant, police searched hacienda cortez. five bodies turned up. cher hughes, beau isler, the entire brown family. in back of the house holbert allegedly bought from the browns. do you sense any remorse? >> no, i don't think so. i think he's -- he seems to be very calm. >> reporter: panamanian police chief gustavo perez interviewed wild bill in jail. how did he kill all these people? >> he used a .30 caliber. he was saying very proudly that he shot them in the back of the neck. all the victims. >> reporter: for now, the island cher hughes loved so much is empty. will you go back out to the island? >> absolutely. absolutely. >> going to live there? >> absolutely. take cher's ashes and bury her
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there. >> reporter: this is vicki may bring in bocas del toro, panama. >> officials trying to convince people it's still a safe place to be. in the midst of that they're searching other properties for more victims including natives who may have worked on those properties. this story may not be over. >> by definition he's a monster. they're saying they found more bodies under a patio. in the concrete of their costa rican home. coming up, the product that change the world 29 years ago this week. >> ibm's personal computer, and how it looked back in the 1980s. oh! blue! i touched the ball before it went out, coach. come on, alex, the ref did not call that! it's the championship game! i touched, it's their ball. don't foul them when they inbound.
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team! alex! good call. today the personal computer can be found in practically every home, every abc news desk. of course making lives easier for decades now. >> it got started back on this week in 1981 when ibm sold the
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very first pc. from the abc news vault we now go back to the pc's sixth anniversary in 1987. >> reporter: it all started six years ago with this, the ibm personal computer, the pc, which combined good design with even better marketing thanks in part to charlie chaplain. >> with this tool for modern times -- >> reporter: it succeeded beyond even ibm's dreams and became the new industry standard. software companies rushed to write programs for it, which in turn created more demand for the computer. ibm has sold more than 6 million of its various pcs. but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the pc family spawned many imitators. panasonic, toshiba, epson. others are from american firms like newcomer leading edge. and the familiar radio shack change, goes tandy computers include a full line of ibm copies. turning out an ibm clone called the blue chip.
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it sells for less than $1,000 and is headed for stores like kmart. this sort of competition is not what ibm had in mind but for the past two years, it did little to counter it. >> you cannot be in a fast-moving industry, which changes literally every six to nine months, and have a product line out there for five or six years and then hope to maintain market share. >> reporter: and ibm didn't. its share of the market dropped from nearly 30% to below 20% and it seemed even mighty ibm might go the way the other u.s. firms, losing control of the market it created. that's why the world was watching as big blue unveiled its long-awaited pcs two weeks ago. there are four models. two of them so big they won't even fit on a desktop. >> the new ibm personal system 2. >> reporter: the new machines have clearer graphics, more speed and more memory. ranging up to $12,000 are equ equipped for a new generation of so the ware yet to be written. the cheapest of the new ibms
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will cost at least $2,000. that leaves the low end of the market wide open for the clonemakers who say they'll eventually be able to copy the high-end models too. they also say ibm is back. >> just as when the first pc came out, they led the market. and here they're attempting to do that again. and i think they've accomplished it. >> reporter: the new tariffs on japanese goods can't hurt, of course. neither will the deep loyalty corporate america has long had to ibm. and there's another loyalty that won't hurt either. >> i ought to add the fact that it says made in the usa is not discouraging me at all. >> reporter: abc news, washington. >> interesting thing, looking back on that from where we started with computers 20-plus years ago to where we are now with theism-pad, flipping through this thing, graphics, you talk to it, it does this and that, watch tv. amazing how far things come. imagine years from now what the cell phone will be, the tv will be, it's nuts.
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"world news now" delivers your "morning papers." >> welcome back, everybody. something cool to look at, start things off today. take a look at these pictures now on the screen. see if you can guess where these things come from, exactly what these pieces of art -- vinita, you know, you can't answer -- it's kind of cool. all this is carved out of watermelons. all of this art here. it's an art form that went back 700 years or so. there's this hotel chef in tokyo that's picked it back up again. this is his work. it's incredible they did all this out of fruit. gorgeous artwork here. he says it lasts about two days then he eats it. he said it takes him maybe 20 to 90 minutes depending how checks a topic he's picked. >> this is wasted talent. >> oh, come on.
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>> is it not? like you have bigger things in store for you, get off of the watermel watermelon, go towards another medium. >> it makes him happy, vinita. >> i'm going to go ahead and get on the limb and say i think this story is a hoax. i just don't believe it could happen. >> we said that yesterday and it turned out to be, yes. >> we should rename this "lying newspapers." the background is the guy you see in the center had not seen his first daughter in something like ten years. he knew basically where she lived but didn't know anything else about her. they had grown apart after a bad divorce. so he called a local newspaper and told them his sad story and said, will you take a picture of us and put it in the newspaper? this is the actual picture the photographer took, and you can see that white circle in the background. turns out the daughter not only read the article, she was in the very picture the photographer took. >> hm.
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>> she said she recognized her and her mother there, two people in that circle. she immediately contacted him and now they're completely reunited. she said at first it was really weird. at first the dad thought it was all a hoax. she said not only am i your daughter, i'm actually in the picture you took. this is more of a family portrait. the whole family was in this one. >> that's a story you hope is true. the one we put up yesterday, the woman that quit on the dry erase board, that's well out there that was in fact a hoax. let's hope that one is not. >> hopefully we have no updates on this stortomow. let's not do that. ll,in t mood for . should maybe head out to denny's they're apparently revamping their menu. the denny's fried cheese melt. $4, four fried mozzarella sticks and melted american cheese grilled between two slices of sour dough bread served with french fries and a side of marinara. 895 calories, 34 grams of fat, nearly 2,600 milligrams of sodium. delicious.
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indecision. the jury's problem in the rod blagojevich corruption case. what's next for the former illinois governor? then, autism advance. detecting the disorder with a new brain scan. the optimism and skepticism. and, emotional baggage. on-the-job turbulence for flight attendants, including the now-famous one who lost his cool. >> you going to lose your job? >> more than likely. >> it's thursday, august 12th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> the more we talk about this guy the more i kind of get it in terms of why he may have just flipped out. i think people in customer service, whether it's retail or bars or restaurants, i get why they go a little nuts. everyone complains about the
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public. there are a lot of rough, tough people out there. >> anyone who's waited on a table or done anything in a service industry, yeah. >> ain't pretty, i get it. >> the beers were their own special touch. >> yeah, different level. good morning, everybody. i'm rob nelson. >> i'm vinita nair. the corruption trial of rod blagojevich and his brother have been thrown into confusion. jurors toll the judge they are now deadlocked. >> today the judge will try to clarify the situation. paul meincke reports now on the courtroom drama. >> reporter: robert blagojevich would like to know where the jury's said is at but he doesn't. nor does his brother. nor do their attorneys. >> i understood it to be that they're -- they can't reach a -- make a decision. and it seemed like every count was a specific act. and we don't know what it means. the judge doesn't know what it means. >> reporter: for the first time since this case went to the jury 15 days ago, both blagojeviches were summoned to court. for the reading of the jury
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note. when the ex-governor arrived he said, i missed you guys. the note from the jury asks for guidance. it reads in part, in a situation where jurors cannot unanimously agree on given counts what should the next logical step be? we've gone beyond reasonable attempts to reach verdicts. the judge said essentially, i need clarification whether you are unable to reach unanimous agreement on some or all of the counts. >> i think this jury, because they deliberated as long as they did, because they did it without rancor, without notes, i think they by and large came to agreement on most counts. we just don't know which way. >> the jury could easily have said, look, judge, there's no way in the world with any more time we can reach a verdict on any of these counts. and the judge would have felt the fact that they didn't means they're not hopelessly deadlocked. >> reporter: rod blagojevich and his legal team did not comment on the jury notes but they are hopeful. >> any solace they will take from this, they will take. the solace they can take is that
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it is not a unanimous verdict of guilty, at least it doesn't appear to be the case. >> reporter: the judge will likely instruct the jury to keep deliberating and do the best it can to reach unanimous agreement on as many counts as possible. in chicago, paul meincke for abc news. the so-called granddad bandit is in federal custody this morning. he is a suspect in 25 bank robberies across more than a dozen states. his real name is michael francis mara. the fbi gave him a nickname because of his appearance. mara surrendered after a six-hour standoff at his home in baton rouge, louisiana. court documents show a tip led to mara's arrest after billboards carrying his picture went up last week. the search is intensifying for a serial killer who seems to target african- w oar pafrican- the man is believed to be responsible for at least 20 stabbings in michigan, virginia, and ohio. diana alvear now has the latest. >> when he started stabbing, i hit the ground. i was thinking i wasn't going to
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make it. >> reporter: the gash on antoine marshall's torso is nearly a foot long. it will forever mark the attack that nearly took his life. >> every day i thank god for letting me live. >> reporter: authorities say marshall is one of at least 20 victims of what they're calling a serial stabber. a white man accused of attacking mostly african-american males in three different states. >> this guy, he was hunting, basically. until he finds somebody that fits the right profile for him. >> reporter: the attacks usually take place every four days in the hours before dawn the suspect asks for directions or help with his suv. then attacks with a knife or hammer. five of his victims have died. >> 911. >> a guy has been stabbed several times in the stomach near the corner of collingwood and floyd. he is bleeding profusely. >> reporter: the latest case occurred in toledo. a good samaritan found a man bleeding in the road. >> he said that, someone please help me, i have been stabbed. and my heart just said, pull
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over. >> reporter: the victim, anthony leno, is in critical condition, his attacker on the loose. police have released surveillance footage of the suspect's suv. a green chevy blazer caught on tape near the scene of one attack. it's the best lead in a case that so far has stumped authorities and terrorized entire communities. >> i'm scared for my kids. i'm ready to move. i'm not going to lie, i'm ready to go. >> reporter: diana alvear, abc news, chicago. federal investigators in alaska return to the scene of that fatal plane crash today. they did not catch fire after plowing into a mountainside on monday, killing former senator ted stevens and four others. the four survivors, including former nasa chief sean o'keefe and his son, have not been interviewed about the incident. o'keefe's family says their loved ones should make a full recovery. also from alaska, the last members of a tourist group who had been stranded on a glacier have now been rescued. they arrived by helicopter at a hospital where they are all
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treated for minor injuries. the group was on a sightseeing tour sunday when their aircraft went down in severe weather. that was when they started getting creative in order to s >> we assessed everything we had. what do i have in my purse? we used my dental floss to make a clothesline to hang the paratroopers' clothes to dry them because they didn't have anywhere to dry. we used what we had and we stuck together. >> three alaska national guardsmen were also rescued yesterday. the hlledn the glacier as thto rhtou on the situation in pakistan is growing even more desperate after the worst flooding in the country's hi the u.n. predicts a second wave of deamongsick larry jacobs reports. >> reporter: nearly 14 million people, the victims of the worst natural disaster in pakistan's history. help could not come soon enough. >> have you received any help at all from the government? >> reporter: a two-week deluge has swollen rivers, wiped out the infrastructure, with nearly
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16% of the country now covered in water, countless pakistanis have been forced from their homes. they've rescued thousands but there are still so many just like them who are stranded. this is one of hundreds of lakes that these floods have created. to illustrate the scale of this disaster, this lake alone is bigger than delaware. those trapped on the ground now rely on aid packages dropped from helicopters. others escaped the rising water by any means available. the fallout from this catastrophe will surely grow. many of the displaced have nowhere to go. because the flooding happened so fast there was no time to put up shelters or get relief workers in place. the united nations has appealed for nearly $500 million in aid. the united states has already pledged $71 million. >> unless aid activities continue to be rapidly scaled up, additional loss of human lives and further suffering will occur. >> reporter: 1,500 people have already perished here, and millions more are at risk. larry jacobs, abc news. wall street's huge sell-off
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could go into a second day today because of tech giant cisco systems disappointing earnings report. sending the dow down 265 points. with that big plunge all the major stock averages are now in negative territory for the year. and our business editor dan arnall says economic worries are simply not calming anyone's nerves. >> economists and market watchers are telling me that we should expect to see more of these big up and down days in the coming weeks, that volatility index as it spikes attempts to indicate there's going to be rough going ahead. >> the stock sell-off has rolled right around the world. all the major asian markets are trading lower this morning. tokyo's nikkei average hit a 13-month low today before rebounding just slightly. >> never good when you hear the words volatile and the market. here's a look at your thursday forecast. severe storms in the dakotas and minnesota. scattered showers from washington, d.c. to new england. heavy rain and flooding along the gulf coast. thunderstorms in arizona, new mexico, and colorado.
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and heat advisories from the great lakes to the deep south. >> dallas sizzles at 105. kansas city 99. indianapolis 95. 81 in boston. 90s from new orleans to new york. 70s in the pacific northwest. 83 in sacramento. and 90 in salt lake city. a buried treasure has been unearthed in israel and it is quite a chunk of change. >> to say the least. the 2,000-year-old coin weighs almost an ounce. that makes it the heaviest and most valuable gold coin ever found in israel. it was minted in egypt and bears a portrait that may represent cleopatra. >> in ancient times the coin was worth up to a year's salary. today it is valued at about $80,000. think about it, an ounce of gold, that's about $1,200 if it wasn't an ancient coin. >> you can mail that right here to "world news now." [ wom nine iron, it's almost tee-time...
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researchers say they have discovered a new gene that can turn any bacteria into a super bug. they say even the strongest antibiotics cannot treat this super bug. the gene was originally found in india and pakistan and has now been seen in the u.s. and four other industrialized countries. the threat is linked to tourists who have been in india and pakistan for medical procedures. now to what may be a promising advance in detecting autism. researchers in london have developed a brain scan they say is quicker and more precise. >> while they say the test can be 90% accurate, skeptics aren't so sure. the bbc's jane hughes reports. >> reporter: this is the test scientists hope will revolutionize the diagnosis of autism. getting a conventional diagnosis of asperger's syndrome took joe powell years. but these researchers believe a brain scan could help them detect it immediately.
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the process of scanning joe's brain takes about 15 minutes. the images are then fed into a computer which makes minutely detailed measurements. to the naked eye his brain looks pretty much like anybody else's. but those measurements should reveal telling differences. the colored areas are key. the blue ones control behavior, the red and yellow ones, speech and vision. >> so you look on this screen here, joe, you can see on the left -- >> reporter: joe's scan puts him firmly at the autistic end of the spectrum. researchers say the trial is more than 90% accurate. >> just somebody telling you you've got asperger's from my perspective was never enough. i needed to physically see it. i've actually been waiting for this for an awfully long time. >> currently the diagnosis of autism needs an expert team. there aren't many of those around. and it takes the expert team many, many hours to reach a diagnosis. and this is a way we hope can cut through that. in only 15 minutes this computer
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program could tell whether you do or don't have autism, depending upon your brain scan. >> the question is, why -- >> reporter: this is the kind of specialist help people can access once they have a diagnosis. work now under way on developing a test for children. but some experts say much more research is needed before the test becomes widely available. jane hughes, bbc news. >> the applications of a test like that are obviously unbelievable. the reality, though, it's still in the research phase. so in terms of clinical trials, we don't know when it's going to be available to people. >> more work to do. they say between 1 million and 1.5 million americans have some kind of autism. but if you detect it early it can reduce the life-long costs by up to two-thirds. >> yeah, big news. coming up next, the president's press secretary defends a controversial choi
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it wasn't the 80th birthday celebration congressman charles rangel had initially envisioned. but even with the ethics violations he's now facing, the party went on. >> the biggest gift the troubled democrat could have received is support from his friends. wabc's dave evans reports on the
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bash. ♪ that's what friends are for >> reporter: it was the theme of this evening. dionne warwick belting out "in good times, bad times." plenty of friends are still with charlie rangel on this, his 80th birthday fund-raiser at the plaza hotel. >> i've been to a lot of funerals where they worked it out but this damn sure ain't no funeral, is it. ♪ happy birthday to you >> reporter: tonight's parade of politicians included attorney general and gubernatorial front-runner andrew cuomo. senator chuck schumer, up for re-election in the fall. and the mayor who made light of the rumor some politicians might not show. >> i know a few people couldn't be here tonight because as they tell it, either they had to get a haircut unexpectedly or they were sure they'd have a headache. but charlie, as you know, they were with you as long as they could be. >> reporter: outside the plaza a few protesters chanted and one sign calling on rangel to
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resign. >> others have a right to say whatever they want. but this judging before the facts is in has become more and more prevalent in this society and it bothers me. >> reporter: others outside said tonight's event was just too ritzy for their blood. >> this is a party that the average person on the street cannot afford to come this. this is of the elite and the high rollers. and my message is that this reflects who charlie rangel is. >> reporter: a lot of people here said mayor bloomberg's decision a few days ago to go ahead and show up gave cover to virtually every politician in new york city to feel that it was safe to attend. the only significant no-show here was aretha franklin as the entertainment. she suffered a fall last week. dave evans for abc news, new york. white house press secretary robert gibbs is fighting off calls for his resignation, and those calls are actually coming from his own party. >> democrats are upset about his criticism of liberals after he called them "the professional
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left." yunji de nies has more from the white house. >> reporter: robert gibbs opened his mouth to prove that, in fact, his foot was not in it. >> i have no plan on leaving. and there's no truth to the rumor that i've added an inflatable exit to my office. >> reporter: the press secretary is in hot water after scolding the so-called professional left. liberals who say the president has sold out his ideals to make deals. gibbs told "the hill" newspaper, "those people ought to be drug tested. they will be satisfied when we have canadian health care and we've eliminated the pentagon. that's not reality." gibbs blamed his addiction to cable tv for losing his cool. many on the left believe mr. obama has not kept his election promises. whether on health care reform -- >> this is an insurance company that dreamed this bill. >> reporter: or not being decisive on gay rights. >> that's the president's position. clear as mud. >> reporter: polls show the president still enjoys the overwhelming support of liberals.
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but on abc's "topline," liberal blogger jane hampshire said he's been taking them for granted. >> he sort of assumed these people would stick with him but he's having trouble across the board by not delivering for his constituents. >> what do you say to progressives who on reading your comments yesterday say, well, if that's their attitude i'm staying home in november? >> i don't think they will because i think what's at stake in november is too important to do that. >> reporter: the president also needs to shore up his support with independents. so for the administration, a fight with the left may not be all bad. yunji de nies, abc news, the white house. >> the thing is, no matter what in politics, never either side is pleased entirely. it's all the compromise of democracy. no one side gets everything they want. no one's ever happy, seems like. >> gibbs specifically said, many times i could have said things slightly differently. >> of course. >> which is the case with all politicians. coming up next, a job filled
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with turbulence and some emotional baggage. >> how the infamous flight attendant reached that breaking point. diabetics on medicare!
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and finally this half hour, the latest on that now-infamous flight attendant who flew off the handle, to say the least. according to this morning's "wall street journal," steven slater might have been more of an instigator than we first thought. >> that gash you've seen on his head, he supposedly received from the unruly passenger, apparently that was there before the flight, according to people on the plane. >> the plot thickens. for now he does still have a job. here's andrea canning. >> reporter: he's the man everyone seems to be rooting for. >> some really great people out there.
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i'm getting a glimpse of that. it's a surprise because obviously i've been away for a little while. >> reporter: steven slater headed here to this manhattan apartment building directly from jail where he had spent the past couple of days. when he was finally let out, it was a whole new life for the flight attendant. and clearly, everyone wanted a piece of him. >> it seems like something here has resonated with a few people and that's kind of neat. >> reporter: more than just a few. people from around the world have come to his defense after his tarmac tirade. the flight attendant lost it after a rude passenger bumped him on the head. he started swearing on the intercom and even activated the emergency chute while travelers were getting off the plane. >> thought about it for 20 years, we thought about it. you never think you're going to do it. >> reporter: it's not the first time he's taken issue with overhead baggage. slater reportedly posted comments on this aviation website. i hate to be a bag nazi when i work a flight but i feel if i'm
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not then i'm letting down all those who cooperate." delta's ceo used steven slater as an example of how to treat flight attendants. >> we might all take a lesson and be respectful of what they do. >> reporter: flight crews are forced to deal with everything from carry-ons to chaos. to help handle the problem, jet blue has been turning former firefighters and police officers into flight attendants. >> the background brings a professionalism, demeanor and calmness, and an ability to execute under pressure. >> reporter: not exactly how steven slater handled the situation. in a jet blue internal memo his bosses reportedly scolded his behavior and the media for turning it into a humorous example of walking off the job. he's unemployed but the company tells abc news he's been removed from duty pending an investigation. so good thing, when one door closes -- >> are you going to lose your job? >> more than likely. >> reporter: -- another always opens. andrea canning, abc news, new york.
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serial slasher. the search for a killer intensifies this morning. >> i've never come so close to death. >> as a survivor tells his story. then, world-wide warnings. the super bug antibiotics cannot kill. and, controversial comments. the best-selling author who says she's no longer a christian. >> i felt like i was in bed with the devil. >> it's thursday, august 12th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> that's right, anne rice, the lady who in some ways was sort of the precursor to this vampire mania, out with a big statement, big declaration, saying she's no longer christian. >> she has a long history of speaking her mind and not mincing words. she's holding true to that.
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>> interesting background look into why she's decided to leave organized religion. make sure you stick around for that this morning. good morning and thanks for being with us. i'm vinita nair. >> i'm rob nelson. police hunting for a serial killer who struck in three states have narrowed their search. they're now working on a list of possible suspects. >> the attacks started in may in michigan and continued in ohio and virginia. at least five victims have been killed. jeremy hubbard reports from flint. >> reporter: while police in flint, michigan, investigate another stabbing, the manhunt continues. >> i think he's just a stone-cold killer. >> reporter: most victims like richard booker have similar stories. men walking alone at night on urban streets when a stranger approaches in his suv. believed to be this green and tan '95 to 2005 gmc jimmy or chevy blazer. he asks for help or directions and attacks. >> i've never hurt so much in my life. i've never come so close to
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death. >> reporter: booker spent three weeks in intensive care, stabbed five times. he's one of at least 20 victims linked to the serial slasher since may, most of them in flint, where five men were killed. three men were stabbed in leesburg, virginia. another in toledo, ohio. >> 911. >> a guy has been stabbed several times in the stomach near the corner of collingwood and floyd. he is bleeding profusely. >> reporter: booker is the exception. nearly every other victim is african-american. >> only thing that kept me alive is because i played dead. >> he is methodical from the standpoint of figuring out a way to get people to him or catch them off guard. >> reporter: the attacks have been happening on average every four days. the most recent one, saturday night. leaving investigators with the nearly impossible task of staying one step ahead of a serial killer. >> it can be that one scrap of information that happens to blow a case wide open. >> reporter: authorities are
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hopeful tips and a trail of survivors help catch the killer before he strikes a jeremy hubbard, abc news, flint, michigan. the judge in rod blagojevich's corruption trial should know more from a deadlocked ju tod the jurors deliberating the former illinois governor's case sent a note to the judge saying they're deadlocked on some of the crg blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to all 24 cou, including trying to sell president obama's senate seat. today is the jury's 12th day of deliberations. now to alaska where two incidents this week have placed a spotlight on air travel there. >> because of alaska's rugged terrain, flying really is the only transpota >> abc's don guevara is covering a fatal plane >> reporter: rob and vinita, alaska is a state known for its natural beauty. but this week has shown us, experiencing it can be very dangerous. the bodies of the dead and those who survived have been removed from the remote alaskan mountainside where this float plane crashed monday. >> the plane didn't catch fire,
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which was surprising. the whole area was inundated with fuel, we were actually afraid to use our cutting tools. >> reporter: former alaska senator ted stevens was one of the five people who died. former nasa chief sean o'keefe and his son were among the four survivors. >> they were all conscious and they were all able to speak. i was primarily working on cutting the hole in the airplane. >> reporter: the plane may have crashed because of bad weather. something the ntsb will look into. the impact from the crash was so hard, it left a gash in the mountain. the crash was the second rescue effort in alaska. sunday, donald urbe's small plane came across bad weather and made an emergency landing on a glacier, leaving him and four friends stranded. >> they were to go up on a half hour, 45-minute max flight trip up around the glacier. >> reporter: the quick trip has turned into days of drama. tuesday a blackhawk helicopter crashed, leaving those rescuers stranded as well. hours later, urbe's friends were finally rescued.
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airplane crashes are common in alaska, in fact, one of five fatal crashes nationwide happen there. in los angeles, don guevara, abc news. rob and vinita, back to you. >> thanks, don. u.n. predicts that many more people will die after pakistan's flood disaster if help does not arrive soon. the u.n. has called for nearly $500 million in emergency aid now. the u.s. military's also tripling the number of helicopters in pakistan from six to 19. the country's worst floods ever have impacted 14 million people and at least 1,600 have already died. pakistan is also one of the links to what doctors are calling a new super bug. the bug comes from a combination of bacteria and a whole new gene. it is proving hard to kill even with antibiotics. dr. richard besser has the details. >> reporter: a new study in "lancet infectious diseases" documents the spread of a gene that can turn almost any type of bacteria into a powerful super bug. even the strongest antibiotics are able to treat these
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infections. the drug resistance is spread by plasmids. genetic material that can hop from organism to organism which are then free to reproduce and share the resistance with other bacteria. originally found in india and pakistan the gene has been seen in the united states, united kingdom, netherlands, australia and canada. it's believed the worldwide spread is linked to tourists who receive medical care in india and pakistan. >> the three cases that were reported in june in the united states all were traceable to people who had been in india. >> reporter: tackling this problem will require not only preventing these infections, but also creating new antibiotics. the problem is, few new antibiotics are being produced. >> we are not developing new drugs. the few drugs in development are not going to handle our problem. we have a real crisis in antibiotic development now. >> reporter: recently legislation was introduced to create incentives for the industry to develop new antibiotics. but for now, the focus must
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remain on prevention. wash your hands. don't ask for an antibiotic because if you do you're more likely to get one. if you can, stay out of the hospital. dr. richard besser, abc news, new york. an important ruling on same-sex marriage is expected today in california. a federal judge who struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban will now announce marriages should immediately resume. he could also call for a delay while supporters of the ban appeal his decision. the long-running popular comic strip "cathy" is coming to an end. the final strip will run in sunday newspapers in early october. during its 34-year run "cathy" chronicled the life, frustrations and swimsuit dramas of its creator cathy guisewite. she is quitting the strip to spend more time with her family and to pursue other creative endeavors. she said the biological -- the creative biological clock had ticked out on "cathy." >> for 34 years she said it was her form of therapy. but time to move on, i guess. here's your thursday
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forecast now. damaging winds, hail and flash flooding from fargo and sioux falls to the twin cs. scattered showers in the northeast. downpours from new orleans into .ownpours from new orleans into heavy thunderstorms in the and showers from spokane to helena. >> a wet 79 in boise. 89 in billings. 96 in colorado springs. he knows it's helena. >> helena, sorry. >> the cosmos of the midwest. 105 in dallas. 92 in new orleans. nearly 90 in miami. and 95 in baltimore. he learned that from me. >> i did. i knew a girl named helena. sorry about that, guys. some grooms to be choose to pop the question, of course, inn pop the o ket si of course, inn >> a massachusetts man tried to propose on a rock jetty on the shoresae c he hid the one carat family heirloom ring by tying it under a sand dollar. i think you know where this is headed. when his girlfriend picked up the sand dollar the $9,000 ring slipped through the rocks. >> buddy. after hours of searching, the
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ring never turns up. the proposal still took place but in the back seat of a mazda instead. >> ouch. isn't this a man's worst nightmare? >> oh, yeah. don't lose the ring. luckily, though, he did have it insured, another one's already been ordered. happy ending there. congratulations them we'e ri assistance getting around their homes. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you. stay tuned for this important medicare benefit information and free scooter guarantee. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. why should you call the scooter store today? because their mobility experts are also medicare experts.
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♪ [ male announcer ] try fixodent with a time-released formula. use just once per day for all-day hold. fixodent and forget it. years before shows like "true blood" made vampires all the rage anne rice was the queen of the undead. she authored several hit novels, including "interview with a vampire." >> she sold more than 100 million books worldwide. now she is back in the news but this time for publicly walking away from christianity. dan harris reports. >> reporter: anne rice has never been one to mince words. when her book "interview with
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a vampire" was made into a movie, she public declared her dissatisfaction with lead actor tom cruise. she later changed her mind. these days, from her home near palm springs, california, she maintains a very active facebook page. on which she recently posted something rather incendiary. you wrote on facebook, today i quit being a christian, i'm out. you go on to call christians as a group quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous. >> i did say that, yes. >> why did you say that? >> i was saying, when you see the persecution of gay people by the mormon church or the catholic church, i'm not part of this. when you see the oppression of women, i'm not part of it. >> reporter: rice was raised in a strict catholic household in new orleans but became an atheist at age 18 and lived that way for most of her adult life. in fact, her vampire novels were written from an atheist's perspective. >> the vampire for me was a
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perfect metaphor for the way i felt, like a lost soul roaming in the darkness without god. and i poured a lot of my despair and my unhappiness and my grief for my lost faith into those books. >> reporter: in 1998, she says she experienced a conversion. >> i knew there were probably things that the church taught that i would find very hard. but at the moment of that conversion, i was really convinced that it would all work out. >> reporter: for the past 12 years she has lived as a committed catholic. instead of writing about vampires she switched to writing about christ and angels. in fact, her new book about angels called "of love and evil" comes out this fall. however, she says even though she knew she might struggle with the church's stance on social issues, she wasn't prepared for how frustrated she would become by things like the priest sex abuse scandals, the pope going to africa and condemning condoms in the fight against aids, and the church's involvement in the fight against gay marriage in
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california. >> the toxic anger built up, the confusion built up, and i thought, i have to get out of this. i want god to be the center of my life, and somehow i'm in bed with the devil. >> that's a very strong word you use there, devil. you're saying that there is evil operating in organized religion? >> i felt like i was in bed with the devil. >> reporter: part of her frustration, she admits, comes from the fact that her son christopher, with whom she is very close, is gay. >> i mean, it causes great moral discomfort when your church is calling homosexuality gravely disordered, and when they're spending money, maybe money that you yourself contributed, to fight, to support prop 8. i mean, i can't emphasize how demoralizing that is to me. why millions of dollars in church funds spent on persecuting these people publicly? i don't get it. i think it's wrong. i think it's evil. >> but obviously, that's calling the behavior of organized religion evil, which is incredibly strong --
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>> i think the persecution of gays is evil. >> reporter: to be clear, rice says she is still a follower of christ. >> every time i read the bible i will mark down different things. >> this is no small amount of notation. >> that's right, yeah. >> reporter: rice says her anguish over this decision will work its way into her books. in the meantime, her announcement has generated an enormous response on blogs, in newspapers. >> are you prepared for the possible backlash? >> reporter: and on cable tv. in a country where a growing number of people, now 17%, say they have no religion. this story has clearly touched a nerve. is it fair to paint organized religion with such a broad brush? >> i wanted to move away from all of it. i feel called to move away from all of it. i don't want to be in the dispute. >> reporter: she acknowledges there are plenty of people involved in organized religion who are doing positive things. but she says she, like a growing number of americans, is out. where does all this go if there
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are so many people feeling alienated from organized religion? how does this play out, do you think? >> i don't know. i did what i felt i had to do for my conscience. but obviously, this has implications. let's hope and pray something good will come out of it. >> reporter: dan harris in rancho mirage, california. coming up next in "the skinny," a multimillion dollar lawsuit involving paris hilton and her hair extensions. go
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willis over there is battling his paparazzi trying to get his picture. so we said "the skinny" today, i always think people tell you, don't believe everything that you read.
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>> of course, yeah. >> i think that this story, though, will have a lot of people believing it. because the rumor is that "american idol" may be dumping jennifer lopez, because she's too big of a diva. >> you're right, most people definitely buy that, yeah. >> the rumors are that her demands just got out of hand and fox had to -- just had enough of it all. if you have not been following what's happened on "american idol," it's been a revolving door. they let go of paula, they lost simon cowell, ellen degeneres says she doesn't want to do it, kara dioguardi apparently was let go as well. now it seems like the only original judge would be randy jackson. >> that's right, dog. >> and the only face that i'll recognize will be ryan seacrest. so, you know, right now network fox and the production company that does all this, they're saying no comment, they're not going to say anything about all of this. but other websites like says that the negotiations are still going on with jennifer, and that all these reports are wildly exaggerated.
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but there's been so much criticism. >> she does have a rep for being difficult, demanding, the whole diva thing. i can see where that can -- probably a little truth to that. >> seems to me like the kids have mellowed her out a lot. being married to chris anthony. but who knows. >> marc anthony? >> yeah. the skinny guy. >> like you. so more news now. one diva to another perhaps here. paris hilton apparently, more legal trouble for her over something you would never think would cause a lot of drama but apparently has, her hair extensions, wrapped up in the middle of some kind of legal drama because she's being sued by a hair contract company that says she failed to promote their product which she actually sported the locks of a competitor back in 2008. she wore a rival's hair extensions instead of the company she agreed to promote. now they want $35 million from paris because she wore the wrong hair. that's a lot of the money for some hair. >> fascinating how she maintains
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her status in the headlines. over hair. >> over the dumbest of things. but yeah, she's back in the headlines again. are extensions that -- i didn't realize they were that popular, that big. >> i'm sure they have signed a multimillion dollar deal with her and said, you're the face of our product. i understand if in fact all this played out why they would be upset. because paris gets a lot of coverage. she's often photographed. >> right here on "the skinny" too. >> let's talk about snooki now. >> always. >> remember when she went to jail, her quote was, i'm too pretty to be in jail. i'm not a criminal. well, of all people, john mccain is agreeing with her. yeah. he was on a radio interview, it was in phoenix for kmle. of course he was probably joking when he said this. he said, i kind of think she might be too good-looking to go to jail. he said it during this radio appearance. apparently they'd had an exchange before. at one point she tweeted a exchange before. at one point she tweeted a complaint about
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here are some stories to watch today on abc news. general motors may post its best quarterly earnings report in years today. that's after gm paid back billions in government loans. there are also reports the automaker may file for an initial public stock offering on friday. also, overseas stock markets are falling this morning after the dow jones' biggest slide since june. the dow lost 2.5% of its value yesterday due to some disappointing economic reports. also, india is considering shutting down blackberry service unless the government's security concerns are addressed in meetings that are set for later today. finally this half hour, a house that is older than dirt. literally. archaeologists in england uncovered britain's oldest house. >> they say it is actually 11,000 years old.
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and it's something that could give us insight into how our ancestors lived. the bbc's jenny hill reports. >> reporter: carved by stone age man. it's 11,000 years since someone built this timber decking. this, it's thought, the earliest evidence of carpentry in europe. in 8,500 b.c., this entire valley would have been under water. but there's plenty of evidence that human beings settled around its edges. it's that evidence which makes archaeologists say this site is as significant as stonehenge. >> there's two in that section. >> reporter: every hour here they turn up a new discovery. they've only excavated a tiny fraction of the site. but every arrowhead, flint, and bone fragment is a vital clue about the people who live here. >> let's be honest, they were probably very much like you and me. they would have looked very much like us. they wore jewelry.
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we know they had pets like dogs. they hunted animals. we have evidence of that from things like this, this barbed point which was made of red deer antler, used in spearing animals. >> reporter: this is one artist's impression. what makes this site unique is the sheer number of artifacts left behind. >> give it a hearty whack with your hammer stone -- >> reporter: rich pickings for this antler specialist. >> you've got deer which grow up to huge sizes. these are antlers from a healthy deer of a modern population. if you can imagine the deer seem to be twice the size of this. >> 92486. >> reporter: they have to work fast. the peat here is drying out. artifacts like this tree have survived for thousands of years under the soil. it's a race against time to preserve them for the future. >> wow. >> again, that was the bbc's. jenny hill reporting.
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